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NAD C162/C272 speaker considerations

 

New member
Username: Cyberwraith

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jun-06
Hi guys,

Just a broad question here looking for a broad answer. :-)

At this point in time im looking in the vacinity of the NAD C162/C272 pre/power combo. Probably looking at the comparable Arcam system but Ive been hankering after NAD for a while now so I might indulge myself at this stage. (Oh, the source most likely the NAD C542)

What I dont know is even what ballpark (price/brand) to start matching speakers to this system would be. I have read a lot of threads here and in essence, agree with the theory of choosing a system. I intend on visiting a couple of good rep HiFi stores and listening to a large selection (of similar type) music. Basically, a sample of my collection.

Im hoping that given what I listen too I should be able to narrow down the speaker hunt to a few brands. Purely metal (not a classical/live buff like a lot of guys here). (Doom/Stoner/Thrash/Black). I wont be needing a speaker that accurately does crisp classical with sharp jazz and bassy techno - just metal for me. (If there is such a speaker that caters more for us heathens.)

Given the (lower) quality/cost of the amp im looking to spend in the vacinity of that on speakers also - I know NAD isnt anywhere near high end so Im just looking to match the amp to a speaker set (no view to upgrade - upgrade will equal total replace at some later stage).

Can anyone recommend any brands or specs I should look at when considering this choice? Of course it would be great to listen to every speaker set imported into this country but this is not a holy-grail-quest I want to spend 6 months on.

Any rough ball-park suggestions will be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance - I dont comment much but I love reading this forum - much respect.

Cheers
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 637
Registered: Nov-05
Jordon,

I have the abovement mentioned NAD kit, and although it may not be classed as high end, it would probably cost around twice as much to do noticeably better for equivalent gear. I use B&W 602S3's and find this sytem sounds great from rock to jazz - and even my few classical discs.

The speakers require placement experimentation and good solid stands. I am using Kordz (Aus) biwire and Monster interconnects. Without using all the sound cliche's, I find this set up hard to beat for the price - at least here in Aus. Best to audition if you can or get a return policy. Good luck with it.
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 638
Registered: Nov-05
I tried to edit to fix the bad grammer but got an error!
 

New member
Username: Cyberwraith

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jun-06
Thanks Rantz. Just the advice I was after. Ill have a peek at the B&W's and look around that level of gear. BTW, Im in Aus too... you wouldnt happen to know a good HiFi store in Melbourne would you? (Im new here, been in London for the last 5 years).
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 640
Registered: Nov-05
Jordon - I don't know any dealers in Melbourne, I'm in Qld but the distributors should be able to give advice.

NAD - http://www.audioproducts.com.au

B&W - http://www.e-hifi.com.au

Other than that I'm not much help.

Cheers
 

Silver Member
Username: Ravbains

MelbourneAustralia

Post Number: 139
Registered: Mar-06
Hi Jordon,

I agree with My Rantz what has said. B&W's are generally good speakers, and on the whole the B&W's I have heard like to be played loud. They generally sound like they are asleep at very low levels, and come to life when played at loud-ish levels. But B&W I would say, on the whole have an even frequency response (which is a good thing IMHO!!)

I would guess given your taste in music, you would need a speaker that has a strong/good bass output. Since you would like to hear your music reproduced in a similar fashion to the way it sounds at a rock concert. Or, indeed the way it sounded to the band, when they played back the master tape on the full-range monitors in the studio. That would be the end goal.

There are a lot of other brands I could suggest, but it really depends on where you are in the world. Since your location will dictate what's available to you.

Congrats on your choice of pre-pwr amp. I think the C162/C272 is a really good combination, and will drive almost any speaker out there. Also the C162 has an excellent phono stage, should you ever want to enter the mysterious world of vinyl replay, later down the track.....

Given your rock-prediliction, you may want to look at some floor-standing speakers also, to give you the given of bass levels needed for this type of music.

A floor stander will produce more bass, but it's an engineering compromise as usual, so the floor stander may suffer from cabinet resonances which affect the mid-band. To build a great floor-stander, that can outperform the best standmounts in terms of cabinet resonance/colourations normally costs mega-$$$$'s.

But take your favorite CDs to a good dealer, and listen to floorstanders, and good stand-mounted speakers inside your budget, and you should be fine.

cheers
Rav
 

Silver Member
Username: Ravbains

MelbourneAustralia

Post Number: 140
Registered: Mar-06
Hi Jordon,

ha, ha you are in Melbourne too I see....

Welcome to the hi-fi wilderness (wind blows and tumbleweeds fly by......).

Sorry excuse my flippant nature, I am originally from the UK, hence I find it a little tough down here in Aus (only in terms of hifi that is.). Otherwise it is a great place.

Tivoli Hifi in Camberwell is not a bad place to go to, and they stock NAD equipment, and have plenty of speakers too. They have lots of very expensive B&Ws too (if it interests you to listen to the higher end of the B&W range...). Since they stock the NAD gear, they should be able to advise you in terms of speakers which mate well with the NAD, and are also complementary with your taste in music.

But generally they are okay there, so I have no qualms about recommending them in an open forum.

cheers
Rav
 

New member
Username: Cyberwraith

MelbourneAustralia

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jun-06
Hey Rav - thanks for the info. VERY much appreciated. Excellent advice and a big thanks for the recommendation on Tivoli. Ill give them a visit on the weekend methinks.

Rantz, cheers again. Given yours and Rav's comments on the B&W's I will make sure to give the range a good look over.

Ill let the forum know how I go - see if we can get a nice NAD-n-Metal speaker combo consensus. :-) Rawwwwk!
 

Silver Member
Username: Ravbains

MelbourneAustralia

Post Number: 143
Registered: Mar-06
Hey Jordan,

(sorry for mispelling your name earlier, sheesh... people huh!!!

Myself, I blame it on My Rantz, since I just copied his homework.)

no worries. If you are around and about this weekend, you may also want to try the oddly named "Klapp!", it is on the Windsor end of Chapel Street, and they stock the C162/C272 and various speakers.... Dunno what they are like though, but may be convenient for you since they had the NAD pre/pwr in stock last time I was in there.

Also for something a bit more "off the wall" I would recommend to you the following CD player:

http://www.cattylink.com/

Just click on ESound E5 CD player. This is a great CD player, and costs about the same price as a NAD C542 CD player. Suffice to say, IM-very-HO this unit is better built, and sonically will bury the NAD unit.

The risk is that you cannot demo it. But hey, life is a risk!!!

In the unlikely event that you don't like it, you can sell this unit on Ebay for same price as you paid for it. This CD player has quite a fan base out there. But believe me, I think this is a highly unlikely eventuality.

The E5 will cost you around $1000 AUD, shipped to your door from Hong Kong.

Anyhows, just thought I would throw the E5 into the mix just to spice things up a bit!

-cheers
Rav
 

Silver Member
Username: Ravbains

MelbourneAustralia

Post Number: 144
Registered: Mar-06
Jordan,

since I now know you are in Aus, I would also very strongly recommend the Dynaudio range of speakers to you.

I prefer Dynaudio's to B&W in fact!

But in your price range you will only get a stand-mount speaker. But Dyn's always kick hard for their size in the bass department, so definitely worth a good listen. And Dyn's know how to rock also.....

To listen to the Dyn's, you will need to go to Cartlon Audio Visual on Lygon Street in Carlton.

http://www.carltonaudiovisual.com.au/index.php

But Carlton do not stock NAD gear, but they do have plenty of other nice amps in their store like Audiolab 8000S, and the Creek Destiny amp. (But I do believe the C162/C272 is a real no-brainer, great combo for the $$$s it costs.)

The above is Carlton's web-site and it has the prices too for the Dynaudios.

-hope this helps
Rav
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 3242
Registered: Dec-04
Hi Jordan.
I looked into B&W 703's recently with RnR specifically in mind. They are very good, and very expensive.
Along the same line maybe Kef iq9 and Revel Concerta12 as well.
If available near you.
The suggestions come from your musicsl and budget as quoted above.
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 641
Registered: Nov-05
Jordan,

I agree with Rav about floorstanders if deep bass is important to you. For standmounts, I think the 602's perform very well in this area, but it will be your ears and your music, so others brands within your budget will be worth an audition. The speakers the guys mentioned above have great reps also.
 

New member
Username: Cyberwraith

MelbourneAustralia

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jun-06
Hi guys,

Thanks for all the comments. You have definitely pointed me in the right direction - exactly what I was after to get started with this.

Thanks again Rav for the Melbourne info. Ill check out Tivoli, Klapp and Carlton AV before parting with any money. Its hard to find a good HiFi store nowadays - one with a specialised setup and the expertise to help. I lived in Canberra for quite a number of years (Uni) and found the best store I have ever come accross there - check out Duratone in Phillip if youre ever passing through. So im looking for a similar place in Melbourne now with people that are happy to tell me to go elsewhere if they know they cant supply what I need - not a place that will flog off anything in their store regardless. Almost an impossibility nowadays hey. :-)

At this point in my research I will aim for a floor standing unless a stand mount performs better to me. I agree with the comments about a 'boxy' feel from floor-standings but ill see what I come up with. Currently just have little Energy Pro 3.5's which, as a stand mounted speaker, have always performed above my expectations. (They are going to get relegated to surround duties on a Yamaha amp - dont care too much for surround but ill feel like a lepper if I dont have something when the mates drop around to watch movies).

I had a mate with some old B&W stand mounted and I remember them being pretty good. Just having a squiz at B&W now - looks like a nice range, ill see(hear?) what my ears think about them.

Nuck, I had a mate when I lived in London with some Kef's - pretty nice but I dont like my luck finding a store in Aus that will have, na, demo them. Ill keep my eyes peeled though.

Thanks all for your input - much appreciated. Ill let you know how I get on.

Jordan
 

Silver Member
Username: Ravbains

MelbourneAustralia

Post Number: 147
Registered: Mar-06
Jordan,

Just some more local info for you. I'll try to cover the remaining dealers in one hit, and then you should have a reasonable who's who if the Melbourne dealerships:

o Secher Audio in Camberwell, stocks very esoteric equipment Levinson, Burmeister, Mcintosh, Cairn etc etc. Pretty expensive and out of my league. Does have some affordable stuff like Cyrus and Rega. It is worth talking to the propietor, since he is quite laid back, and happy to offer general advice which is more suited to your requirements quite independant of what he has in stock. George Secher is his name, and he may be a good resource for you.
o Audio Lifestyle in Fitzroy, stocks many brands but seems to focus heavily on Cambridge Audio, for their affordable ranges. Also has many other brands like Marantz etc.
o Last one is Encel, this is more AV than hifi, but they focus very heavily on Rotel, and its parent company is the distributor for Rotel in Australia. They are in Richmond.

The above plus the others I have mentioned are the major players in Melbourne.

cheers
Rav

PS Look forward to hearing how you get on.

PPS Also don't forget to conside the new Rega Apollo as a source (1500AUD), folks seem to rave about this machine as being both musical and very 'analogue' sounding. I have not yet had the pleasure of hearing one.
 

New member
Username: Bonzo

Post Number: 2
Registered: May-06
Hi, just thought I'd throw my 2 cents worth in.
I have the NAD C162/C272 Pre-Pwr and C542 CD with the B&W DM603S3 floor standers. I've had this combo for a little over a year now and am really, really happy with it. I listen to all kinds of music and even movies sound quite impressive through this set-up. I was looking for a speaker that had a little more bottom end so I went with these over the 602 (not a huge difference btw). I just recently added a sub to achieve that little extra that I felt was missing in the lower end. For my ears and for the money, I couldn't be happier with this set-up. Good luck and happy hunting!
 

Silver Member
Username: Ravbains

MelbourneAustralia

Post Number: 148
Registered: Mar-06
Hi Bonzo,

sounds like a good well balanced setup, I think I could live with a system like that for music and the occaisonal movie.

I have listened to the C162/C272, I think it is a great combo.

This pre/pwr combo is a real no-brainer, and is hard to beat for the price (unless you buy pre-loved ;-).

The C162/C272 is mentioned many many times in this forum. But, what I believe is not mentioned often enough is that the C612 has an excellent in built phono stage, which I heard with a MM catrridge (G1042) and it sounded amazing to my ears!! Probably the reason why the phono stage sound so good is that NAD have ensured that the phono eq and gain circuits have a clean and well regulated power supply. This is one benefit of a stand alone pre-amp, the phono stage is not sharing a 'common' environment (even though it may be sitting behind some 3-pin regulators) with the amps output stage.

-cheers
Rav
 

Silver Member
Username: Daniel_canada

Canada

Post Number: 148
Registered: May-06
Also, the 162 has a decent built in headphone amp. The 162 has a high $/sound ratio!
 

New member
Username: Cyberwraith

MelbourneAustralia

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jun-06
Hi guys,

All this info is brilliant! Im so stoked about going and listening to this gear on the weekend.

Bonzo, On a similar thread, given my musical taste (Metal), what is the chance the B&W 703's will still not give enough low end performance? You mention the 602's seems to lack a bit in this department and it looks like you have proped them up fine with a sub. What are peoples thoughts on the low end response from the 703's over the 602's? I might be able to spring for the 703's but adding a sub as well would probably push the budget.

What is the general consensus on speakers vs adding a sub? Should I stretch as far as I can on speakers alone spending more on the pair, or if Im happy with, say, the 602's which Bonzo seems happy with as far as mid/top end goes, should I just add a sub for bottom end and leave it at that? Or do I have to get into mega-bucks to get a speaker with the full range acceptable to my music taste and I should focus on a speaker/sub combo instead?

From what I know (which may be totally wrong), I was going to look for a speaker set which, by themselves, would give me the sound I was after rather than backing a lacking speaker with a sub? (Nothing taking away from the 602's Bonzo - Ive not even heard them yet and they could well blow me away). :-)

Am I barking up the wrong tree trying to find a mid-range speaker that has strong mid/top end as well as a punchy strong bass? Is a sub a better way to go anyway?

Cheers
Jordan
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 652
Registered: Nov-05
Jordon, the 703's are a lovely speaker and should give you what you are after (without the need for a sub), but again, be sure they are backed with an amp of decent power - their recommended amp is 50w to 200w - that means you'll want a unit that will deliver clean power to make those speakers earn their keep. You don't want a low powered amp where you need to reef that volume knob around to the dirty power area to get high listening levels. They won't sing nice if you do.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ravbains

MelbourneAustralia

Post Number: 151
Registered: Mar-06
Hi Jordan,

my vote on speakers alone, versus speakers+sub is to go for a full range speaker like the B&W 703.

I would think the C272 has plenty of high quality grunt to drive the 703, but of course you need to test this in a demo of the two.

The only spoiler I can see is that in Australia the B&W 703 costs $5600 AUD. I dunno if this is inside your budget.

But there are plenty of other good speakers out there in a more affordable bracket. I am sure a good dealer will suggest some models for you.

My favorite is the Dynaudio Focus 140 (cost $3000AUD), these produce adequate bass for most modest sized rooms.

I cannot really comment on sub-woofers since I have no experience, but personally speaking I avoid them because I just like simplicity.

cheers
Rav
 

New member
Username: Bonzo

Post Number: 3
Registered: May-06
Hi Jordan,
Just to clarify things, I actually have the 603S3 floorstanders (not the 602s) because I wanted the extra bottom end and at the time wasn't interested in getting a sub (I wanted to keep it simple as well - strictly 2 channel, since music is the priority for me). It was a while later that I realised I still wasn't satisfied with the bottom end. I thought about upgrading to a set of speakers that could go down to sub frequencies but the cost for such performance was way out of my reach. The addition of the subwoofer was the most economical route for me and I love it. Very happy now!
 

Silver Member
Username: Ravbains

MelbourneAustralia

Post Number: 152
Registered: Mar-06
Yep, gotta agree with you, pays to keep an open mind....

If a sub works for you then great.

cheers
Rav
 

New member
Username: Cyberwraith

MelbourneAustralia

Post Number: 7
Registered: Jun-06
Hey Rav,

Checked out a few stores on the weekend. Went to Encel, Secher and Tivoli.

Yes, I see what you mean by Encel being a Rotel store. Nice amps though, but really lacking in the speaker choices I though. PolkAudio were the only real things they could offer me in the price range Im after. Nice guys though but probably not the store I think I will deal with.

Secher and Tivoli rocked though! I thought both were really good. Secher definitely the more audiophile of the two, but only just. Secher seemed to have a really good setup, very professional and well knowledgable folk. Only problem is they dont do NAD. But I think I will give them a listening session as they have a lot of nice other gear and a far better ($ and range) speaker selection by far.

Tivoli was really good cause they had all the NAD gear, seemed to know what they are on about and also have a few speaker choices... limited brands but some nice stuff. All the B&W gear, some Energy and the ALR-Jordan. Not as wide a range as Secher but all the stuff for these brands (and I can test on the NAD setup).

Ill get to the others next weekend and by then I should have a couple of stores in mind to listen at and purchase.

Thanks a million Rav! Your input has been worth its weight in gold for your advice and recommendations. Much appreciated mate.

Cheers
Jordan
 

Silver Member
Username: Ravbains

MelbourneAustralia

Post Number: 171
Registered: Mar-06
Hi Jordan,

no problem at all, let me know if I can be of any further help.

You may want to check out Carlton as well since the Dynaudio Focus range is well worth a listen. Dynaudios play nicely on any type of music.

Last time I was in there they had a very well run in pair of Contour S1.4 ($4800AUD), and also the Focus 140 ($3000).

The problem was that I went in to listen to the Focus, but the 140 they had in store was brand new and not at all run in. It sounded nice but a little reticent.

Dyn's are notorious for needing over 100 hours to settle in. But I am sure if you went to Carlton now they Focus 140 would have more hours played on it.

thanks
Rav
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